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This weekend saw the first race of the looming winter season, as the North West Road Relays took place at the scenic Delemere Forest, and with-it St. Helens Sutton A.C. athletes gave the first glimpse of their early season form, as they competed for both North West and County Titles.

As the winter weather set in with torrential rain the first to compete where the U13 Girls, lead off by Chloe Leigh Mark, followed by Poppy Handly-Hicking and rounded out by Jessica Bairstow bringing the team home in 38th and 10th Merseyside team. Sadly the U13 Boys didn’t complete a team but Joseph Colley and Gabriel Mullen ran great legs which had them in 21st position after two legs.

Next up was the U15 Boys who finished 22nd and 6th Merseyside team home, they were led off by Matthew Dodd, who was followed by Michael Dobson, and Joseph Byrne, with Michael Duffy also competing as part of an incomplete Sutton team.

As the rain got tougher and the cold set in the senior women set off with Racheal Beesley on first leg, taking the strength of her marathon training onto the course, coming in 7th Merseyside team with 28.01 over the 6.2km course, next was Heather Drillingcourt (30:23) and brought home by Jade Smith, (27:49)

Rounding out the day Sutton’s senior men had a fantastic run, with two complete team competing and one incomplete team. On first leg was Matt Crehan 19:50 (A Team), Leon Hill 24:44 (B Team) and Jake Healy 23:54 (C Team). Crehan took his usual quick start and held that to bring the A Team home in first place handing over to the inform Tom Griffiths (20:06) who grew that lead further, the reigns then handed over to Steven Anders (22:56), who has recently returned after an ankle injury which caused him to miss out on this year’s London Marathon, and the A Team where brought home by marathon and ultra-marathon man Andy Wilson who had the team home in Second Merseyside position taking a fantastic team silver medal. In the B Team, Hill passed on to Ian Costello (26:25), who then led on to Ian Roberts (27:12) and was brought home by Barry Graney (25:47).

On Sunday, Griffiths and Anders, showed their strength competing at the Wigan 10k, with Griffiths having a fantastic running on tired legs to place second in 32:44, with Anders just four places behind with 36:23.

Report by Matthew Crehan

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